I’ve seen a couple of comments and a lot of folks have been sending e-mail asking about Windows 10 for Surface RT/2 tablets and whether or not they will be upgraded.
The short answer is “NO”. ARM-based machines like the Surface RT and Surface 2 (including the 4G version) will NOT get the full Windows 10 upgrade.
Windows 10 for Surface RT/2: The Longer Answer
Instead, apparently, they will get some sort of a limited upgrade as indicated during the Q&A section of the January 21st Microsoft announcement event, where Microsoft said they are “working on an update for Windows RT as well.”
In addition, in a comment to cnet, Microsoft said “We are working on an update for Surface [RT], which will have some of the functionality of Windows 10,” and that there would be “more information to come.”
Microsoft had already said that some editions of Windows would not be included in the free Windows 10 update announced earlier this week, if you hunt through Microsoft’s Windows 10 page you’ll eventually find this fine print…
“It is our intent that most of these devices will qualify, but some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device. Devices must be connected to the internet and have Windows Update enabled. ISP fees may apply. Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 Update required. Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise outside of this offer. We will be sharing more information and additional offer terms in coming months.”
So, if you have a Surface RT or Surface 2, you aren’t going to be totally left out of the Windows 10 experience but you can expect it to be limited in comparison to “full” Windows 10.
Since Windows RT and RT 8.1 never quite had the same functionality as full-blown Windows 8 and 8.1, it’s not really surprising to see that trend continuing with Windows 10. Besides, as Joanna told you in her post on our experience with Microsoft Retail Stores, there are plenty of hints that the Surface RT line may be going away completely in the future.
It’s a shame, really, since the RT devices have so much to offer with their light-weight and long battery life.
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.